R-Awards Top Trophy Made by Artist Alexis

A STUNNING bespoke trophy will be created for this year’s top award at Rossendale Business Awards.

One of the award nominees Alexis Valentine, who runs his own business Walking on Glass in Helmshore, has offered to make the Valley at Work Award – which is given to the best of the best and will be presented by the Rossendale Free Press.

Alexis spent 32 years working in a dental laboratory until he was made redundant in February last year. Six months later he set up his business turning his skills with a dentist drill to engraving glass.

Since being at primary school he has been artistic and his other passion of walking led him to creating a range of glassware, tankards and tumblers for the many people who complete long distance walks and tackle the country’s peaks.

He said: “At the laboratory I would construct crowns and bridges and was used to using a drill for up to five hours at a time so when I was at the JobCentre I just decided to see if I could use those skills for another application.

“I was thinking about engraving wood but glass kept on being mentioned. Now I have made my own sandblasting unit so I can combine different techniques and got a grant from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire to help buy a new drill.

“I have sold pieces all over this country and some is even going out to Australia.

“I was really pleased to be nominated for an award. It is good to be recognised by industry locally, especially as I have only been in business for a short time.”

This year’s awards opened in Mid August and already more than 60 businesses and community organisations have been nominated with nearly half being new to the awards.

On November 12 a glittering ceremony will take place at The Riverside in Whitworth when awards will be handed out for a range of categories from Community to Creative, Part-Time to Made in Rossendale.

Valley at Work, which connects local businesses, organises the awards event.

Chair Rob Carder said: “I am delighted with the response we have had so far. As nominations can be made until the end of September, I am sure this set to be another record breaking year for entries.

“Rossendale is a hive of small businesses, self-starters and people who opt to go it alone often after redundancy like Alexis. These awards are a way of saying thanks to those businesses that keep Rossendale thriving.”

To find out the latest about the awards follow Rossendale Business Awards on social networking site Facebook. To nominate follow the link​.

Businesses can be nominated or enter themselves. Nominees decide which category or categories they want be entered into.

Other awards are being made by Alder Grange Community Technology School to a design by former student Jake Ford.​

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